We went to Target this afternoon. I like Target. I don't like K-Mart or Walmart (or shopping in particular), but Target I like. In addition to picking up some things for an upcoming pre-holiday get-together at our house, we were in search of a cool, limited edition Target gift card. Not just a run-of-the-mill, three-inch-by-two-inch piece of plastic with a magnetic strip and a bar code. This gift card is a real toy car with the iconic Target dog sitting behind the wheel. It comes with a little map of the United States and, once unfolded, the Target dog tools around the US in his car ... looking for other Target stores, I guess. (Go ahead. Tell me that's not the coolest thing you've ever seen. Okay... one of the coolest things.)
We walked up and down every aisle of the store, hunting down end caps displaying their selection of gift cards. Since the giving of cards instead of gifts has gained popularity, these displays are just about everywhere in the store. And, of course, each display exhibited an empty hook where our desired gift cards should have been hanging. We moved from aisle to aisle, display to display — all with the same result.
Finally, my wife approached a young man who was taking books out of a shopping cart and placing them on a shelf. Obviously, he was an employee. She asked him if he knew where the elusive gift card could be found. He replied hesitantly, pointing in several directions and gesturing with his head in several more. Mrs. P thanked him and she walked back towards me, shrugging her shoulders.
A little further down the same aisle, Mrs. P asked another employee the same question. She even gave a more detailed description of the card in question. The fellow said, "I'll ask Mike. He knows everything about everything in this store."
"I think I already asked him," my wife interrupted "Is he putting out books right over there?" She pointed to our previous location.
"Uh, yeah," he concurred, "He's wearing a red shirt and khaki pants, right?"
My wife stared expressionless for a moment. "You're all wearing red shirts and khaki pants."
"Oh," he chuckled, and with a half-cocked grin, "I guess we are."